Welcome to my cottage garden! I’ve been gardening in my cottage garden for 5 years now. It’s seen a lot of changes. This year, we made drastic design changes, so today I’m sharing my cottage garden design with you!
Although these changes are for the long haul, it’s still a work in progress. I’ll make sure to update you on this post as we add more features.
Unless you live on perfectly level ground, there may be challenges to creating a beautiful functioning cottage garden. We live on a ridge in the Ozarks. The garden slopes and after heavy spring rains, the rows and seeds on the lower end would always experience some erosion in years past. This year we dug swales!
What are swales?
Swales are a lovely solution to erosion, drought, and infertile soil. It’s actually a permaculture technique. The swales are ditches dug on contour to hold water, preventing our rows from being washed away. Hallalujah! Holding the water longer in the swale also increases the amount of water that stays in your garden.
We dug a total of 4 swales, which in the rocky Ozarks was no small feat. We then mulched the walkway. The mulch will break down and increase soil fertility and also provides a less messy walkway after heavy rains.
Crops Planted in my Cottage Garden
This cottage garden incorporates vegetables, herbs and flowers. All of these plants work together to create a harmonious companion planting system, or you may have heard it referred to as interplanting.
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In the above picture you see a row of garlic on the left side. This was planted in October and will be harvested in August. It was planted at the top of the slope because garlic likes well drained soil. Next to the garlic, you see a patch of oregano. The oregano patch is about 3 foot wide and long. I never replant the oregano. It comes back every year.
At the back of the garden, on the right, are volunteer sunflowers. Squash will be planted amongst those come July. Then, to the left of those sunflowers are fennel, cilantro and dill, all volunteer from last year. I love letting plants go to seed and having volunteers the following years. They seem to grow stronger.
We are currently adding mulch to the pathways. I’ve planted anasazi beans, corn, pink eye purple hull peas, and zinnias. More herbs and flowers will be added. Lavender is definitely on the list and I’m thinking delphiniums as well. Let me know in the comments what kind of flowers you would add.
The fence is a waddle fence that was built a few years ago. We’ll slowly start replacing those as the weather deteriorates the wood.
Join me as we tidy up the cottage garden in this video!